Louise Ramos | Taiwan Travel Guide & 5-Day Itinerary
Hello, I'm Louise! And I like to make things. I’m an illustrator and all-around-creative based in sunny Manila.
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Taiwan Travel Guide & 5-Day Itinerary

My last trip was done on impulse: the product of a seat sale, boredom, and some guts. I was supposed to go to Taiwan with some friends on November but couldn’t find a cheap enough flight ticket for a very cheapipay person like me. I refuse to pay Php5000 (~US$100) because I know that enough could fly me to someplace higher on my list (like back to Korea, lol oppa). Instead, I started searching for dates nearer and found a Php2300 (<US$50) two-way ticket to/from Taipei. And wth, no thinking ensued, so I booked it.

A week prior to my trip, I received an email for online flight check-in and my loka-loka @self realized I still haven’t asked for permission from my parents for a solo trip, researched, or booked any accommodations or tours. (Galing ko talaga magcram, crey) I thank the heavens for being #blessed with amazing parents with a bahala-ka-na-matanda-ka-na attitude but with a pasimpleng-bigay-mo-address-telephone-number-chuchu-etc-ng-hotel-gobyerno-lahat-na. Love you, fam.

Also, I thought the lifting of visas for Filipinos started in June. Apparently, September pa. Lucky again though, all I needed was an ROC Travel Authorization Certificate.
{This applies to citizens of India, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, and of course, Philippines, who has had (yes, expired visas are accepted) or have a resident card or entry-visa from Australia, Japan, Korea, Canada, US, UK, New Zealand, or any other Schengen country}
It’s a mere online application form that you fill up, print, and then bring with you on your day of departure and present to immigration. You can fill up the ROC Travel Authorization Certificate here. Your passport has to be valid for 6 months from day of arrival in Taiwan, and it guarantees you a 30-day visa-free stay. Validity is 90 days from application date.


With all the preps aside, onto the guide + itinerary.
I was staying for 5-nights/5-days. My flight was late at night so I was wary of commuting alone when I cannot speak anything Chinese aside from xie-xie, lol, cues Kim Chiu’s “Ni hao mga kapamilya” in the background. I’ve read many things about Taiwan being safe for solo travellers (and now I can say yes, yes, it is!) but who can blame a girl for not wanting to taxi alone to her hotel on the first night bec taxi-ing in my home country is just plain sketchy (Uber/Grab vs LTFRB issues, *coughs*!)


Star Hostel

Star Hostel Taipei Main Station
4F, No 50 Huayin St., Datong Dist., Taipei, Taiwan
Exit Y9/Y11 from Taipei City Mall (underground Taipei Main Station)

I opted for a hostel walkable from Taipei Main Station because it’s where the airport bus ends its route. The airport MRT’s last ride is at 11pm, and the regular MRT also stops operating at midnight.

To get to Taipei Main Station from Taoyuan International Airport (and vice-versa), you can opt for the airport MRT (NT$160) or via #1819 Kuo Kuang Bus (NT$125).
The Kuo Kuang bus ticket can be bought a floor below the arrival hall in the airport. It’s a 24-hr bus service that leaves every 15 minutes, and you’ll get to the city in about an hour or less on either option.

I’ll be writing about Star Hostel in a different post because it’s my first time to stay in a dorm-type hostel room. They have individual rooms as well but I was going for the budget-friendliest. Overall, my stay was definitely great, the place is accessible though you do have to walk about ~5-10 mins from the MRT every time. And I love the common area, and also, the cherry tomatoes every breakfast. Heh.
More about Star Hostel on their website.


Taiwan Itinerary Map

Heads up: my itinerary is mostly museum/art-based because it’s what I look into when going to new places. But didn’t forget to visit some of the usual tourist-y locations as well. An interactive map for the places listed here is at the end of this post. (Skip to that if you hate reading or is too tamad, I feel u, haha) You can copy/duplicate the map to save it to your Google Drive so you can edit it to fit your itinerary. E_ is the nearest exit you need to take from the MRT station.
Buying a metro card (EasyCard) is your best bet when going around the city. The card cost NT$100 exclusive of the credits, but you can refund this if you decide to return the card in any of the MRT stations or in the airport before leaving Taiwan.


Huashan and Songshan Creative Park

Huashan 1914 Creative Park
No. 1, Section 1, Bade Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
Zhongxiao Xinsheng Sta. E1

Songshan Cultural and Creative Park
No. 133, Guangfu South Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan 110
Taipei City Hall Sta. E1

I cannot choose just one over the creative parks in Taipei! I decided to go to both Huashan 1914 Creative Park and the Songshan Cultural Creative Park. I preferred Huashan over Songshan and went back to that on my last day. There’s several coffee shops in and around Huashan and I got to visit two exhibits: Paul Smith’s and The Art of the Brick ($NT280/each but worth it). Songshan really is more of a “park” with greenery and open spaces. And there’s a mall nearby Songshan as well. Note though that the Taiwan Design Museum inside Songshan Creative Park is closed during Mondays.

Eslite Xinyi Store
No. 11號, Songgao Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan 110
Taipei City Hall Sta. E2 — walkable from Songshan and you could enter via Hanhyu Department Store

After which, I dropped by Eslite in Xinyi and OMG JUSQO LORDE I COULD LIVE HERE! It’s a bookstore and they even have a 24-hr branch but decided to go to this branch as recommended by friends. Floors and floors of books and art materials and even a floor for craft and handmade brands, ugh, I was so happy it rained and I had a reason to stay there for hours. I felt like a kid flipping through pages, sitting on the floor, kahit na 80% ng binabasa ko is in Chinese and xie-xie lang ulit si acoe. I was so proud of myself though for having self-control so Louise-1, Eslite-0 (or tie kami kasi bumalik ako during my last day in Taipei–sale kasi okay, so I didn’t go over-budget tho #achievement)


Taipei 101
110, Taiwan, Taipei City, Xinyi District, Section 5, Xinyi Road, 7號
Taipei 101/World Trade Center Sta. — again, walkable from Eslite, just cross a few roads and follow the skyscraper haha

I was just supposed to pass by it and view it instead from the Elephant Mountain but I got a complimentary ticket from KKday (thanks again KKday!!). The observatory ticket grants you access to the 89th floor giving you a 360o view of the city! Entrance is from the 5th floor of the mall, so head there first. From the 89F floor, you can also go the outdoor viewing deck on the 91F, and the museum and damper at the 88F. Make sure to go up first because the elevator going back down is at the 88F after the museum. On the viewing deck there are interactive maps you can play with and check to see spots and attractions to go to. The observatory ticket costs NT$600 but you can get it from KKday for just NT$481!! I just love discount sites.

Elephant Mountain Hiking Trail
Alley 342, Lane 150, Section 5, Xinyi Road, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan 110
Xiangshan Sta. E2 — or better option is to bike! Get a YouBike from outside Taipei 101 and return it to another YouBike station near the start of the trail. It’s free for the first hour of use, just tap your EasyCard and go!

All I can say is: kapagod, bes! Char! But it really was tiring for just a 20-minute hike. It’s less of a hike and more of going up a very long flight of stairs. I think I already did too much walking for the day that after which, I just decided to go back to the hostel and postpone my night market trip. Sobrang lola ko, guys.
It’s something you can add to your trip if you really want a good photo of Taipei 101. Don’t go though after/during the rain (Sinong tanga at lampa who learned this the hard way?), because as everything is sloped up, expect all roads (even paved ones) to be VERY slippery. Also, bring mosquito repellant–it’s attack of the flying beasts up there!

Shilin Night Market
No. 101, Jihe Road, Shilin District, Taipei City, Taiwan 111
Jiantan Station, E1

Food trip wonderland! Gets really crowded at night. I can’t really do a review of which night markets are the best because I only got to try a few of the local street food. I get full easily, or maybe the milk tea I’ve been consuming every now and then is just really heavy (some milk tea are just NT$30!!)


As I was travelling solo and on impulse, I didn’t have enough time to research and DIY everything. I figured going on a tour would be my best bet if I wanted to explore Northern Taiwan–and I’m so glad I did! I booked a day tour from Taipei c/o again, KKday, which takes you to Jiufen, Yehliu, and Shifen. It goes for NT$1000 (~Php1600) and the tour is in English. I love that the tour doesn’t restrict you to go with the group, and it’s mostly just a shuttle service with some historical and insider info. I especially hate being restricted and going in a specific direction and not having time alone to wander, that’s why I mostly don’t book tours. In KKday though, once you’re in the spot/attraction, they let you roam on your own and just give you a meeting time and place for when you’re headed to the next stop. Laveet! We left on time too, and we were just 9 people in a huge bus + guide + driver.

Meeting place is in a nearby exit in Taipei Main Station at 8:45am and we got back right before 6pm. Here’s the places covered by the tour:

Yehliu Geopark

Yehliu Geopark
No.167-1, Kangton Rd.,Yeh Liu Village, Wanli Dist.Xinbei 20744, Taiwan

Park was touristy but so worth it! The rock formations remind me so much of Ilocos but this place is better managed and kept. You have to pay a separate entrance fee of NT$80 exclusive from the tour. I definitely would visit again the next time I come back to Taiwan because one hour to walk through the whole place wasn’t enough.

Shifen Old Street

Shifen Old Street
226, Taiwan, New Taipei City, Pingxi District, 十分老街

Railroad of sky lanterns! Our group decided to share a lantern which varies in price from each store but goes for about NT$120. The lanterns come in different colors corresponding to different wishes–like health, love, future, etc. Sad that it was still the light of day when we flew ours but love the experience either way. There’s a long hanging bridge if you keep following the tracks, so don’t miss that.


Shifen Waterfall
226, Taiwan, New Taipei City, Pingxi District, 乾坑10號

The waterfall is in a park-like area where there’s several viewing decks and requires walking for about 10-15 mins. Chill walk lang though. Ganda! Very majestic, ganon. Haha.

Jiufen Old Street

Jiufen Old Street
Jishan Street, Ruifang District, New Taipei City, Taiwan 224

This place!! I can’t say I’m a fan of the movie Spirited Away, because I’m not, lol. But I do love the layout and sceneries in the movie so I really wanted to visit Jiufen which inspired it. The stores are so dainty, plus I get to chat with the owner of one of the craft stores in the area. She has a cute not-so-little cat going up and down the display racks (a lot of cats roam the place) and I left a little post-it-sized art piece for her and she gave me a little trinket in exchange. <3 The tea house from the movie is really not as recognizable as I’d imagine it to be but you can get a good view from another resto/tea place near it. I wish I could have stayed ’til late at night when everything’s lit up but gladly saving that for another time.

We left Jiufen at 5pm and I slept on the way back (bec I am v v lola). The tour bus got us back to Taipei Main Station at around 6pm and I chilled for a while in the hostel.

Ningxia Night Market
Ningxia Road, Datong District, Taipei City, Taiwan 103
Shuanglian Sta. E1

This was a night market near where I was staying and is famous for seafood. I love seafood! They grill almost everything and I had a good dinner while walking around. They also have like take-out sushis which are bomb for less than NT$100. There’s a place I prefer though and I buy from them almost everyday (even bought one before going back to the airport). It’s right in Taipei Main Station when you exit the Red MRT Line. The store’s just named Take-Out Sushi. It’s between a 7-Eleven and a milk tea place and there’s almost always a cue after work hours. They sell individually wrapped sushi, maki, and sashimi, but they also have them in packs of 8-10 pieces for just NT$90 and they taste so good! I know I’m in Taiwan but Jap food is lyfu~



Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall
No. 21, Zhongshan South Road
CKS Memorial Hall Sta.

The park opens at 9am but I decided to sleep in and go at around 10:45am. I’m so glad I did as I was just in time for the changing of the guards. This happens every hour from 9am-4pm. There is an exhibition hall too if you wish to learn more about Taiwan’s history.


Ximen Sta. E1 or E6

Shopping district! Upon exiting at 1 or 6, you’ll be seeing an H&M store and people just basically walk around the whole place very much like Myeongdong. (Sheet masks are uber cheap here too!!) It gets pretty crowded from 5pm onwards and note that most  of the shops only open at 12nn. The Red House Theater was under repair when I visited but the establishments around it were still open. I stayed there for lunch (most restos/cafes are on the second floor up) and headed back in the evening as it was too hot to walk around.

Longshan Temple and MOCA

Longshan Temple
No. 211, Guangzhou Street, Wanhua District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10853
Longshan Temple Sta. E1

I always get conscious whenever I go to temples. (Am I disrupting service? Is walking and taking photos appropriate? *thinks back to Bangkok kaloka* Overthinker problems) As a safety precaution though, I made sure to have sleeves and wear something below the knee, as a form of respect as well. But I guess they’re less strict on this as I saw a lot wearing tank tops and shorts–but do so at your own risk.

Museum of Contemporary Art
No. 39, Chang’an West Road, Datong District, Taipei City, Taiwan 103
Zhingshan Sta. E3 — it’s around a 5-min walk in the underground mall before you exit via escalator (headed to Taipei Main Sta. direction and to Chang’an West Road), and from there you could see signs and artsy decals to MOCA

Entrance ticket is NT$50 and there are bag lockers (NT$10–just a deposit, refundable once you get your bag back) so you can freely walk around. I love that my entrance ticket includes a cute little rubber toy, heh. Most of the exhibits I saw were of clay sculptures from Li Chen’s Being (I’ll Give You the Sun feels huhu that book). But my favorite room was a pitch black one where there’s a spotlight in the middle. I didn’t read the room description before heading in so sobrang shookt si acoe when I stood below the spotlight. A strong gush of wind surrounds you tas parang nasa gitna ka ng bagyo pero pitch black and may light lang every now and then na feeling thunder, ganon. Mga 2 mins akong just standing there after the wind subsided, feeling gumuho na yung world and thinking ayoko mamatay in Taipei, hahaha. You can check their website for the current exhibitions.


I spent most of the day in coffee shops and then packing my things at night. I caught up with my to-do lists for the next weeks and tried to finish my journal entries (tried lang haha)


Taipei Fine Arts Museum
No. 181, Section 3, Zhongshan N Rd, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10461
Yuanshan Sta. Exit to Taipei Expo Park, cross the main road and walk some more (around 10 mins walk from MRT or you can rent a YouBike again)

Entrance fee is NT$30 but for reasons I don’t know, it was free when I visited (yay!! Alam ng universe na paubos na pera ko lol) Check the current exhibitions in their website. I got to see A Space Andante. It was sooo good! There’s the Taipei Story House nearby as well (NT$50), a museum on tea, history, and architecture.

Lin An Tai Historical House
No. 5, Binjiang Street, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan 10491
This is quite some walk from TFAM, head to Binjiang Park

The house is a traditional Chinese Courtyard. It’s over 160 years old but very well maintained. It’s made of red brick walls (pangIG-photo background, ganon) and has a pretty garden.


Da’an Forest Park
No. 1, Section 2, Xinsheng South Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan 106
Da’an Park Sta.

Napansin ko lang, puro greenery pinagpupunta ko today. This is really just a very very huge park and recreational space. (I wish we had more of this in Manila) Upon going down the MRT, you would already see little kids running around while the parents/grandparents are in chairs reading newspapers. There’s a cafe too near the MRT overlooking the park. The lake in the middle has so much birds and wildlife going on, plus squirrels and pigeons fill the place. (I am slightly scared of the squirrels though, should’ve never read about squirrel attacks)


I still had the whole day ahead of me because my flight is in the early morning the following day (na super delayed pa kaloka), but I didn’t really have anything planned. I left my baggages in our hostel’s locker after checking out and revisited some places (Huashan hehe) + did some last minute pasalubong shopping. I’ve listed a few more reco places though that you might want to visit when in Taiwan.


Houli Flower Farm
Taiwan, Taichung City, Houli District

Situated in Taichung City–far from Taipei and takes around 2 hours by public transpo. But if you’ve got the extra day, why not? It’s very picturesque! Search Zhong She Guanguang Flower Market in Google Maps.

Rainbow Village
408, Taiwan, Taichung City, Nantun District, 春安路56巷

Still in Taichung. One of the places on my list but didn’t get to visit. Everything’s so colorful. They say the village is just really small, but would love to see all the murals!

Beitou Hot Springs
No. 2, Zhongshan Road, Beitou District, Taipei City, Taiwan 112
Xinbeitou Sta. — most attractions are near walks from here

There’s actually a lot to see in Beitou like the Hot Springs Museum, Thermal Valley, and famous restos in the area. It’s also just in Taipei and the metro has a stop for it. If you plan on spending a day here, read more about Beitou in Migrationology‘s post.

So here’s the map of all the places listed above, plus, I’ve bookmarked some cafes and restos as well. Click the upper left of the map box to show/hide the itinerary.

Wala man akong Dao Ming Si, this Shan Cai still had real fun soloing Taiwan! (Also, can’t wait for the remake of Meteor Garden next year, yas?) Hope this guide helps you in planning your Taiwan trip. Xie-xie ulit si self that you reached the end of my lengthy post, haha. Where to next?

Disclaimer: some tours were sponsored by KKday, but all thoughts and opinions are of my own.


Stay Gold Lou

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